Weekly Feature



2018-05-17 / Editorial

Spindle items

JENNIFER WATERS
West Seneca Editor

TALK IS CHEAP — This year’s School Board and budget vote showed a dismal number of voters who turned out for Tuesday’s election.

Below average numbers, less than 2,000 per proposition, beg the question of whether voters are indifferent or distracted, and neither is acceptable to me, a person who attends every public meeting in the town that I am physically able to do and has to listen to resident complaints about what they say are the inordinately excessive tax rates in the town.

The school budget is one of the few ways residents can have an impact on their taxes, and while I do not condone taking necessary money from education, I also cannot justify lack of voter interest in this area.

The two candidates who were elected on Tuesday, and the two who were not, all mentioned during their campaign the need to reduce district costs in a way that is fiscally and educationally conscious. This is all well and good, but now those words must take action.

It is my understanding that the various buildings throughout the district are in need of serious renovations and upgrades, and are woefully out of safety compliance.

Since the fall there has been talk of the district working to put together a capital project plan with its architects to address every leaky nook and creaky cranny of the buildings, at a cost that could reach $70 million. The board is confident that it will receive 77.4 percent aid for this work, but let’s run some rough numbers and see what this could look like for next year’s budget.

At a minimum, the project will likely reach $50 million. During a seven-year payment schedule, and factoring in the nearly 46,000 residents in the town, this would be a cost of $11.3 million, or about $35 per resident per year. That’s in addition to the regular budget.

This is not to cause alarm but is rather a desperate plea for residents to take an interest in the actions of the board and the possible implications of such projects. Do so before next year’s election. Now is the time to start caring.

Congratulations to both elected board members; serve the district well.

DRAW YOUR DAD — The deadline to receive entries in The Bee’s annual “Draw Your Dad” contest is Friday, May 25. Children up to age 14 are eligible to draw their dad for a chance to win prize packages that include passes to Darien Lake, Adventure Landing, Dipson/Flix Stadium 10 and a Buffalo Bisons game.

All Father’s Day drawings will be published in a special Bee section on June 13 and 14. Entries can be mailed to The Bee or submitted as an “actual size” photo on your smartphone to fathersdayphoto@beenews.com. Complete contest rules and information can be found in this week’s Classified section.

LOOKING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS — If you have an interest in taking photographs of news or sports events for one of our nine papers, we’re looking for you. Experience is preferred.

All interested parties should email five to six samples of items The Bee would run, such as school concerts and events, community forums, business openings and athletics, to dsher man@beenews.com.

All applicants should have a digital SLR camera.

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